Oct. 31 - More so than in any recent presidential election, the issue of women's rights has been in the forefront of the debate between Republican and Democratic supporters. Sarah Irwin reports.
Less than a week before Election Day, U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney battle for the crucial women's vote - hoping to win the support of any undecided females. On the campaign trail, Obama has hit hard on issues like abortion rights, contraception and equal pay for women. SOUNDBITE: U.S. president Barack Obama "And I know you want the same thing you want for your daughters or sisters or moms or grandmas as I do." Romney repeated his theme that he could improve the economy and get women back to work. SOUNDBITE: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney "This president has failed America's women. They've suffered in terms of getting jobs. They've suffered in terms of falling into poverty. This is a presidency that has not helped America's women." After Romney narrowed Obama's lead among female voters, recent polls suggest the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat in the race for the White House. Jennifer Lawless is the Director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University. SOUNDBITE: Jennifer Lawless, Director, The Women and Politics Institute at American University "To the extent that Barack Obama can woo women voters and convince them that another four years is worth it, he will win this election. But, if Mitt Romney can chip away at that, then he will win the election. So, at the end of the day, the female vote probably is the most important demographic vote." Research suggested women vote more than men - and are also more likely to be undecided on a candidate than men. Hoping to win their votes, the campaigns have gone on the offensive - bringing their wives out on the trail - and blanketing the airwaves with advertisements. SOUNDBITE: Casey Santos, New York Resident, 43-year-old Mother "I will be voting for Romney because I feel that he is the best at helping build our economy and making this world a better place for my little guy and helping him opportunity that we haven't seen in the last four years." SOUNDBITE: Yvette Gales, La Plata, Maryland Resident, Democrat, Works in Finance "I am voting for President Barack Obama because he embodies all the things I believe in, equality for women in the workplace, equal rights." Others said they are still weighing their options. SOUNDBITE: Alexi Battin, Alexandria, Virginia Resident, Independent "It's really trying to figure out what I feel in my gut to do." In the sprint to November 6th, the focus will be winning over these undecided voters.